Saved for the nation: the £3m Brueghel masterpiece

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The Independent Culture

One of Flemish artist Pieter Brueghel the Younger's greatest works has been prevented from being lost from public view after a three-month fundraising campaign by the National Trust.

Working with the Art Fund, the charity raised £2.72m to buy the 16th-century painter's The Procession to Calvary, which has been on display for the past 200 years at West Yorkshire historic house Nostell Priory. The painting's owner, Lord St Oswald, notified the National Trust of his intention to sell the work last year.

"Considering the economic climate, this has been a hugely challenging campaign," the Art Fund's director, Stephen Deuchar, said, "and we are enormously grateful to all our members and supporters who have given so generously."

The 1602 painting shows Christ carrying the cross through a Flemish landscape to the site of his crucifixion, surrounded by more than 200 figures including peasants, children, animals, gentry and soldiers.

The National Heritage Memorial Fund contributed £1m to the total raised, with the Art Fund granting £500,000 and £680,000 coming from members of the public, many of them National Trust members. A further £510,000 came from smaller trusts and foundations.

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